Coffee grounds in strawberry bed

Asked April 20, 2019, 6:26 PM EDT

Hello,
Is it beneficial to sprinkle and then gently work used coffee grounds into the soil around my strawberry plants? I started this year's strawberry bed with fresh bare root strawberries, which are starting to take root. I tested the soil in the strawberry bed and it's a bit on the alkaline side (7.5).
Thanks.

Arapahoe County Colorado

1 Response

Hello,

While it is unlikely that working coffee grounds into your strawberry bed will change the pH of your soil, they can be somewhat helpful in enhancing the life of your soil in terms of encouraging the growth of beneficial microorganisms. A pH of 6.0 to 7.0 is optimal for strawberries but your plants should do ok here, particularly if you purchased them from an area independent garden center. They sell cultivars that are known to be do well in our alkaline soils.

Coffee grounds can repel water if they are simply left on the surface. To avoid damaging the roots they should be side dressed, meaning that they should be applied 2-4 inches from the plants and gently worked into the soil.

It is difficult if not impossible to significantly change the pH of our soils but there are several types of nitrogen that may have a somewhat positive effect: ammonium sulfate (inorganic) and cotton seed meal (organic). Our soils generally contain enough phosphorous and potassium so it would not be necessary to add these nutrients. Fertilizer should also be side dressed to avoid damage to the roots.

See links below for more information:

https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/403/2015/03/coffee-grounds.pdf

http://cmg.colostate.edu/Gardennotes/763.pdf